דמוחזק לן באחי ולא מוחזק לן בבני דאמרינן מה לי לשקר מאי קאמר למיפטרה מיבם מצי אמר פטרנא לך בגיטא
a case where we have a presumptive status that he has brothers, but we do not have a presumptive status that he has children, although no full-fledged testimony has been submitted for either claim. As in that case we say and apply the logic of: Why would I lie? In other words, if he were lying he would have stated a more credible claim or performed an action achieving the desired result. The Gemara explains: For what reason is he saying that he has children or that he has no brothers, if not to exempt her from a yavam? But if so, he can say to her instead: I exempt you by means of a bill of divorce. Consequently, it can be assumed that he is telling the truth when he says that he has children.
רבי סבר מה לי לשקר כי עדים דמי ואתו עדים עקרי חזקה ורבי נתן סבר מה לי לשקר כי חזקה דמי לא אתי חזקה ועקרה חזקה לגמרי
In light of the above explanation, the Gemara clarifies the dispute in the baraita. Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi maintains that the claim of: Why would I lie, is considered like the testimony of witnesses, and witnesses can come and uproot a presumption. Therefore, he does not have the power to contradict his previous claim and say that he has no children and render her forbidden at the time of his death. And Rabbi Natan maintains that: Why would I lie, is considered like a presumption, and a presumption cannot come and uproot another presumption entirely. As a result, he is deemed credible even for the purpose of rendering her forbidden, i.e., if he says at the time of his death that he has no children, the earlier presumption that he had brothers, but no children, is reinstated.
מתני׳ המקדש את בתו סתם אין הבוגרות בכלל מי שיש לו שתי כיתי בנות משתי נשים ואמר קדשתי את בתי הגדולה ואיני יודע אם גדולה שבגדולות או גדולה שבקטנות או קטנה שבגדולות שהיא גדולה מן הגדולות שבקטנות כולן אסורות חוץ מן הקטנה שבקטנות דברי ר' מאיר רבי יוסי אומר כולן מותרות חוץ מן הגדולה שבגדולות
MISHNA: In the case of one who betroths his daughter to a man without specification, i.e., without specifying which daughter he meant, the grown women are not included among those who might be betrothed, since he does not have the right to betroth them. With regard to one who has two groups of daughters from two women, i.e., one group of daughters from each wife, and he said: I betrothed my elder daughter to someone but I do not know if I meant the eldest of the older group of daughters, or the eldest of the younger group of daughters, or the youngest of the older group, who is nevertheless older than the eldest of the younger group, all the daughters are forbidden, except for the youngest of the younger group. This is the statement of Rabbi Meir. Rabbi Yosei says: Despite the uncertainty, they are all permitted except for the eldest of the older group, as one who says elder without further specification means the oldest of them all.
קדשתי את בתי הקטנה ואיני יודע אם קטנה שבקטנות או קטנה שבגדולות או גדולה שבקטנות שהיא קטנה מן הקטנות שבגדולות כולן אסורות חוץ מן הגדולה שבגדולות דברי רבי מאיר רבי יוסי אומר כולן מותרות חוץ מן הקטנה שבקטנות
Similarly, if one said: I betrothed my younger daughter, but I do not know if I meant the youngest of the younger group, or the youngest of the older group, or the eldest of the younger group who is younger than the youngest of the older group, they are all forbidden, except for the eldest of the older group. This is the statement of Rabbi Meir. Rabbi Yosei says: They are all permitted except for the youngest of the younger group.
גמ׳ הא קטנות בכלל שמעת
GEMARA: The Gemara asks: From the ruling of the mishna, that one who betroths his daughter without further specification certainly did not betroth an adult daughter, it may be inferred that all minor girls are included in the uncertainty if he had more than one.
מינה קידושין שאין מסורים לביאה הוו קידושין הכא במאי עסקינן כשאין שם אלא גדולה וקטנה
One can learn from the mishna that betrothal that is not given to consummation, i.e., where the husband may not consummate the marriage, in this case because each of the women might not be his wife but his wife’s sister, is nevertheless considered betrothal to the extent that each of the women requires a bill of divorce to render her permitted to marry someone else. This contradicts the opinion of Rava that betrothal that is not given to consummation does not take effect at all. The Gemara rejects this: Here we are dealing with a case in which there are only two daughters, an adult woman and a minor girl.
והא בוגרות קתני מאי בוגרות בוגרות דעלמא
The Gemara questions this explanation: But the mishna teaches: Grown women, in the plural. The Gemara explains: What is the meaning of grown women? The mishna is not referring to a father who has more than one adult daughter. Rather, it means grown women in general. In other words, whenever men betroth one of their daughters, their daughters who are grown women are not under consideration.
פשיטא בוגרות מאי עבידתייהו הכא במאי עסקינן דשויתיה שליח מהו דתימא כי מקבל קידושי אדעתא דידה קא מקבל קמ"ל לא שביק איניש מידי דאית ליה הנאה מיניה ועביד מידי דלית ליה הנאה מיניה
The Gemara asks a different question: This halakha is obvious, as what are grown women doing in this context, i.e., how could it be suggested that a father could betroth to a man his daughter who is a grown woman? His authority extends only to his minor daughters. The Gemara answers: Here we are dealing with a case where the adult daughter appointed her father as her agent to accept her betrothal, and he proceeds to betroth one of his daughters without specifying which one. Lest you say with regard to this situation that when he accepts the betrothal he accepts it with his adult daughter in mind, as he is her agent, the mishna teaches us that a person does not put aside a matter from which he derives benefit, i.e., the betrothal of his minor daughter, where he keeps the money, and perform a matter from which he does not derive benefit, i.e., the betrothal of his adult daughter, where she keeps the money.
מי לא עסקינן דאמרה ליה קדושיי לך אפ"ה לא שביק איניש מצוה דרמיא עליה ועביד מצוה דלא רמיא עליה
The Gemara rejects this suggestion: Are we not dealing even with a case where the daughter says to him: As reward for fulfilling your agency, my betrothal money shall belong to you? This would mean that the father derives benefit from the betrothal of his adult daughter as well. The Gemara counters: Even so, a person does not put aside a mitzva that is imposed upon him, i.e., the betrothal of his minor daughter, to perform a mitzva that is not directly imposed upon him, the betrothal of his adult daughter. Since she is of age, her betrothal is her own responsibility.
מי שיש לו שתי כיתי בנות וצריכא דאי אשמעינן קמייתא בהך קאמר ר' מאיר דכיון דאיכא זוטרא מינה להך גדולה קרי לה
§ The mishna taught: With regard to one who has two groups of daughters and betrothed the elder of them, but was unsure which one he meant, Rabbi Meir and Rabbi Yosei dispute which of them is betrothed. The mishna adds that the same dispute applies if he betrothed his younger daughter. The Gemara comments: And it is necessary to state this halakha in both cases, as had the mishna taught us only that the tanna’im disagree with regard to the first case, one might have claimed that in this case Rabbi Meir says that they are all prohibited except for the youngest daughter of the younger group. The reason is that since there is one younger than her, he calls any daughter who is not the youngest: Elder.
אבל בהא אימא מודי ליה לר' יוסי דקטנה להך קטנה דכולהו קרי לה ואי איתמר בהא בהא קאמר ר' יוסי אבל בהך אימא מודי ליה לר"מ צריכא
But in this case of one who betroths his younger daughter, say that he concedes to Rabbi Yosei that a father calls only that one who is the youngest of all: Younger, as a father prefers to call his daughters: Elder, whenever possible. And conversely, if the halakha was stated only with regard to this case, that of a younger daughter, one might have said that Rabbi Yosei says his opinion only in this case, for the above reason. But in that case of an elder daughter, you might say that he concedes to Rabbi Meir. Consequently, it is necessary for the mishna to specify both cases.
למימרא דר"מ סבר מחית איניש נפשיה לספיקא ור' יוסי סבר לא מחית איניש לספיקא והאיפכא שמעינן להו דתנן הנודר עד הפסח אסור עד שיגיע עד שיהא פסח אסור עד שיצא
The Gemara asks a question with regard to these opinions: Is this to say that Rabbi Meir maintains: A person places himself in a situation of uncertainty, i.e., people issue statements and accept upon themselves obligations that are not clearly defined, and Rabbi Yosei maintains that a person does not place himself in a situation of uncertainty, as one has only well-defined situations in mind? But haven’t we learned that these two tanna’im state the opposite opinions, as we learned in a mishna (Nedarim 60a): If one takes a vow that wine is forbidden to him until Passover, it is forbidden to him until Passover arrives. If he said: Until it will be Passover, it is forbidden to him until Passover ends.
עד פני פסח רבי מאיר אומר אסור עד שיגיע רבי יוסי אומר עד שיצא
The mishna continues: If he said: Until before Passover, Rabbi Meir says: It is forbidden to him until Passover arrives. Rabbi Yosei says: It is forbidden to him until it ends. This indicates that Rabbi Meir holds that one does not put himself into a situation of uncertainty, as despite his mention of the presence of Passover, which might be referring to any of the days of the Festival, he does not mean one of the days of Passover itself but until the arrival of the Festival, whereas Rabbi Yosei claims that his words apply to each of the days of Passover, due to uncertainty. This is the opposite of the above interpretation of the mishna concerning a man who betroths his daughter.
אמר רבי חנינא בר אבדימי אמר רב מוחלפת השיטה והתניא זה הכלל כל שזמנו קבוע ואמר עד פני רבי מאיר אומר עד שיצא רבי יוסי אומר עד שיגיע
Rabbi Ḥanina bar Avdimi says that Rav says: The attribution of the opinions is reversed, i.e., the rulings of the respective tanna’im in that mishna in Nedarim must be switched so that they accord with the mishna here. And it is taught likewise in a baraita that this is the principle: With regard to any vow that has a fixed time, i.e., it applies until a set date, and one said: Until before that date, Rabbi Meir says that the vow lasts until that date ends; Rabbi Yosei says: Until it arrives. The opinions in this baraita are in accordance with the suggested emendation.
אמר אביי מחלוקת בשתי כיתי בנות אבל בכת אחת דברי הכל גדולה ממש קטנה ממש אמצעית בשמה קרי לה
Abaye said: This dispute between Rabbi Meir and Rabbi Yosei applies to two groups of girls, as Rabbi Meir maintains that all of them can be called: Elder, except for the youngest of the younger group. But with regard to one group, i.e., if all the daughters share the same mother, everyone agrees that when the father says: Elder, he means the actual eldest one, and when he says: Younger, he means the actual youngest daughter. As for the middle daughter, she is called neither elder nor younger; rather, he calls her by her name.
אמר ליה רב אדא בר מתנה לאביי אלא מעתה
Rav Adda bar Mattana said to Abaye: If that is so,